By: George Potter
Back in the 2021, the Gold medal match between Canada and the United States was a huge upset for the Canadians. Many people favoured Canada in this match but the USA came out on top due to performance from many players from the 2019 draft class and graduates from the USNTDP. Team USA was able to shut out Team Canada and take home gold on Canadian soil.
Despite the impact COVID-19 had on the Hockey world at the time the 2021 tournament went on. The gold medal game had seen the two North American rivals. These two teams had the best talent though one team would become victorious.
Canada had a good team with Dylan Cozens, Quinton Byfield, Connor McMichael, Bowen Bryam, and Jamie Drysdale on Offense and Defense. With Devon Levi who had an impressive performance throughout the tournament and had the home ice advantage. So far in the tournament Canada had not lost a game.
Team USA had some really talented players such as Trevor Zegras, Cole Caufield, Cam York, and Alex Turcotte, with Spencer Knight backstopping the team in net. These athletes stood out as they all graduated from USNTDP back in 2019 and were first round picks.
Zegras had confidence going into this game as he expressed in an interview before the match that Canada was not ready for the awaited test.
To an extent he was right about this because Zegras was able to score two points in the game. First by assisting Alex Turcotte in the first period and scoring the final goal in the second period.
USA was able to out score Canada 2-0 despite being out shot thanks to Spencer Knight’s skilled net minding making 34 saves. Zegras was named the MVP for scoring 18 points throughout the entire tournament. This game was probably the biggest upset that Team USA has put upon the Canadians since the 2010 World Juniors.
Reflecting on how the team played, Zegras was quoted saying how Canada seemed to be caught off guard during the match.
“You could tell they haven’t seen that kind of ground game from any other team in the tournament,” said Zegras.
Zegras is now currently in his rookie season with the Anaheim Ducks in the NHL. He continues to show great skill and talent on the ice so far this season in the pros and he's a favourite to win the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year.